- Polling: Provides immediate and valuable feedback to organizers and sponsors.
- Centralized Platform: Streamlines information about the hackathon to one place.
- Sponsor Area: Sponsors can easily provide information to attendees about API's, prizes and career opportunities.
- Design: A simple and easy to use layout for convenient communication.
Most of the group members on our team have been to hackathons in the past. From our experiences, there could have been better communication between hackers, organizers, and sponsors about various topics such as when schedules changed, when food came out, or when unexpected events occurred. We would be asked to join/follow multiple different news feeds and platforms such as Slack, Twitter, Facebook, and the hackathon's own website. At times, the information was distributed unevenly and some feeds would get information late, or not at all. On top of that, it felt cumbersome to juggle checking multiple different sources to get all of the information. The main reason why we're here is to hack, right? Why make it harder for us to do our jobs? This is why we thought having a single site to aggregate all of that information would be very beneficial to everyone participating in the hackathon. It makes all of our lives easier, so that we can focus on what really matters - changing the world, one hack at a time!
What it does
The web app simply displays all of the information that is usually spread out upon different platforms on one site. It includes an Announcements bulletin, Schedule, two communication channels, and sponsor information pages. The channels are called "Live Feed" and "Live Poll" and they allow for better centralized communication among the three groups in attendance. Live Feed is designed to provide a platform for hackers to communicate with other attendees, organizers, and sponsors, share their ideas, and ask questions. Live Poll allows quick, immediate, and valuable feedback for organizers and sponsors to make the experience better for both the current hackathon and future hackathons. When registering, a user signs up for either a hacker, organizer, or sponsor account. The different accounts have different permissions to edit/post information on the site. Organizers can post announcements and edit the schedule for attendees. Hackers can post in the chats and vote in polls.
How we built it
As far as the app goes, we built it on a Python Flask backend using MongoDB as the database of choice. For the front-end we use vanilla bootstrap coupled with Angular.JS.
Challenges we ran into
One of our laptops restarted in the middle of the hackathon and deleted it's contents from the hard drive, which made us lose all of our back-end code. We all had to learn new technologies such as a new framework or a new language.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We value ideas. Before implementing our idea, we went to members of the target audience (organizers, hackers, and sponsors) and got their opinions. We used their input to tweak our design and optimize it for increased impact. We believe we meet an underlying need to make lives easier during hackathons and avoid Hiccups!
What's next for Hiccup
We firmly believe that Hiccup provides extensive communicative solutions for hackathons. To expand further a few features we have in mind are:
- Pop-up and persistent notifications for immediate alerts
- Integration with MLH for future hackathons and common login credentials pool
- Develop Mobile Platform
- Time bar on the nav-bar for easy reference to deadlines
- Improving U/I to make it more user friendly and customizable